January 5th, 2010, 06:21 PM
Finding a value on vintage Bear Archery recurves
I have an older friend who things are financially tight for right now. He has had two Bear Archery recurve bows in his closet for at least 20 years. He asked me to look online and see if I could find out where he could sell them and what they were worth.
One of the bows says "Bear glass powered Alaskan" and below the leather grip "NH 507 62" 35# ". The face is dark like walnut, the sides oak, and the back a reddish orange. It looks like it is designed to be shot either handed and has a flat copper or brass coin embedded.
The second bow says " White Bear AMO 62" "and serial # "WB01533 25/30# ". The face and back are both off-white and the side a blonde wood. It is a left handed bow, and has a chrome domed coin on it.
Any info would be appreciated.
January 5th, 2010, 08:31 PM
Don't know about the White Bear. I bought a similar Alaskan as your friend's today with the orange belly and with a little checking dated it a 1959. I believe that is the only year that they had the orange belly is the reason I say this. Ebay seems to be the best place to find the value of a Bear bow. Although the only Alaskan I have seen on there lately was a damaged newer model that sold for $76. I paid $30 for the one I bought today from a local person and it's in pretty nice shape 31#.
January 5th, 2010, 08:47 PM
1. The Serial Number: These bows usually have, what appears to be a hand inscription on one of the limbs that gives a serial number along with the length and pull weight of the bow. This serial number works very well for dating Bear Bows from 1965-1969 when the first digit of the serial number is the year of manufacture.
For example, a serial number of 5L212 would be a 1965 Bow.
Prior to 1965, the serial numbers for all Bear bows were started over every month, making these bows almost impossible to date by serial number alone. The "K" series of serial numbers (for example KZ9672) were started in 1970.
2. Patent Mark: Most of the BEAR Bows we have sold have the logo and the US Patents printed on it along with the date of CANADA 1953. This date that is printed on all bows made between 1953 and 1972 is simply the date of the patent for a working recurve limb and has nothing to do with the actual model year.
3. Decals & Silkscreening: In 1948 the small Running Bear decal was first and then was replaced by the large Standing Bear decal in mid-1953. The large Standing Bear decal also has the words "Glass Powered Bow" under the Standing Bear.
The large Standing Bear decal was used until 1955 when it was replaced with silk-screening the identification on the bows. By 1956 the silk-screening appeared on all bows.
4. All Wood vs Laminate: If your bow is ALL wood (no laminations of any kind) then your bow had to be made before the mass productions beginning in 1949.
* If the ALL wood bow has a stamp that reads "Bear Products" in some form it would have been made before the early to mid 40's.
* If it is stamped "Bear Archery" it would have been made AFTER the early-mid 40's and BEFORE 1949.
* Also wooden bows with a small "Running Bear" decal can be dated to 1948
5. The Leather Grip: ALL Bear bows had leather grips until 1959. In 1959, the Kodiak Special removed the leather grip and in 1961 the Kodiak did the same, as well as the Grizzly in 1964.
6. The Coin Medallion: Beginning in 1959 all Bear bows had a coin medallion of one type of metal or another. Below are the approx date ranges for the type of coin used.
Copper Coin – 1959
Aluminum - 1960-1961
Pewter – 1962
Brass - 1963 – 1970
Nickel-Silver - 1971-1972
ALL coins were flush with the wood until 1972. In late 1972 the coin was raised above the surface of the bow and came in both gold and chrome covered plastic and are still used in Bear bows today.
7. Manufacturer Location: in 1978 Bear moved all manufacturing and offices to Gainesville, Florida. If your bow shows Gainesville on it then it was made after 1978
8. Model Of The Bow: Check the Model of the bow. Below is a yearly production chart for the most popular Bear Bows.
Wood Handle Take-Down 1969-1972
Wood C-Riser Victor Custom 1973-1975
Magnesium Handle Take-Down A-B-C 1971-1978
Kodiak Static Recurve 1950-1953
Kodiak Recurve 1954-1966
Super Kodiak 1967-1976
Grizzly Static Recurve 1949-1957
Grizzly Recurve 1958-1978
Super Magnum 48 1966-1976
Kodiak Magnum 52" 1961-1977
Kodiak Hunter 58" and 60" 1967-1977
Tamerlane HC-30 1965-1967
Tamerlane HC-300 1968-1972
Kodiak Special 1955-1967
Victor Patriot 1973-1977
Polar (recurve) 1957-1970
Alaskan (leather grip semi-recurve) 1959-1961
Alaskan (recurve) 1966-1970
Black Bear 1972-1978
Little Bear 1965-1978
With this information you should be able to get really close to dating your Bear Bow if not pin-pointing it to the year.
January 6th, 2010, 10:24 AM
You Alaskan is a 1959 or 1960. Double shelf with black glass on the back and orange on the belly. The coin is probably aluminum. Typically........typically the
double shelf bows do not sell as well as a single shelf bow. The bow market is
terrble right now with the economy and your friend may not do too well selling
the bow. I have seen them back in the day sell for $175 on eBay but that what
for one that was 55 lbs and mint. That bow depending on how much stress it
has(they have been known for stress)May only be worth $35 or $40 or may be
worth $100. Your friend will have to decide what to sell it for.
The White Bear is a early to mid 70's bow and it if it nice and clean with no
holes it will be worth more than the the Alaskan even though the Alaskan is
End result without pics I say the Alaskan is $45 to $85 and the White Bear is
$75 to $125. With no pics and no other info that is the range that I can come up with.
January 6th, 2010, 10:33 AM
Thats a lot of great info.. Thanks
It just helped narrow down that I have a Kodiak Magnum between 72 & 77
Any idea on it's value?
2010 Elite JUDGE #70/30
2009 Elite GT 500 #65/30
K&K Vengeance 70# 30" Kings Mountain camo AKA: Kings Vengeance
January 6th, 2010, 11:52 AM
i sent you a pm,might be able to help your friend out.
January 6th, 2010, 11:57 AM
You can find more info like that on Stickbow.com My good friend Al Reader that passed away last spring wrote that article.
January 6th, 2010, 08:30 PM
Thanks for all the info, it has been a great help. I've been able to determine the Alaskan is a '59, and it is well thought of among the Trad group. The White Bear must be between a '72 and a '76 due to the coin and the fact that is a pre-Gainesville bow. While the White Bear is newer it seems to be much more rare. I haven't found a single one listed or sold anywhere I've looked or even a reference to one in anyones collection. I suppose Bear probably made far fewer of them. This one has a small (less than 1/16") spot 2" above the shelf where it looks like an arrow point might have penetrated the finish. Otherwise it looks very clean. Speaking of clean, the Alaskan seems to be oxidized but I wasn't sure if it should be wiped down with something. The leather has come off the shelf on the left side. Neither of them have any cracks and the tips look good on both.
Ironically, I guy came by my house today to look at something else, saw the bows and offered $150 for both. The offer was turned down until we could find out more about the White Bear but he took the info off of them to call a buddy who is a bow hunter and he thought would pay $200 for them. bow overall2.JPG
January 6th, 2010, 09:40 PM
The Bear Alaskan I bought yesterdy has a serial # NR 548. I thought it was 31# but it is only 26#. I had the weight confused with the 1955 Grizzly I purchased at the same time. Actually, I think it could be either a 59 or 60 now after looking at these descriptions.
February 15th, 2010, 10:00 PM
white bear 60"
Hi, I'm interesting on the white bear 60" and are willing to pay $150.00 today.
Originally Posted by HLS
let me know if ok.
October 4th, 2010, 06:36 PM
First off, I'm new here so be gentle!!! Thanks Neo for all the Bear dating info!! Great stuff. I have3 older recurves & was able to dat 2 of them. One is more of a straight bow (kinda like the ones they used to let you shoot in school. Blonde wood with very thin leather wrapped grip. No arrow shelf. It has no markings of any kind on it that I can find. I have to think it's from the same era due to all 3 of these coming from my Grandfather. The other 2 are Bears. One is an early Grizzly. Has a small running Bear on top limb & a small "patent applied for" decal on bottom limb. It's numbered 24617 & 62#. No other markings. Beautiful bow with blonde & red layers. No condition issues that I can see other than a few minor scratches. The other Bear bow has a Standing Bear, Glass Powered Bow, Grayling, Mich Decal. Also has a small Cub decal on the inside of upper limb. Numbered 62" - SE797 - 47#. The patent decal is nearly gone but you can see some of the number & the end of "Canada". It has a light colored (greenish hue) inside & dark gray on other side. This bow appears to have some checking & lots of varnish flaking. Now the question....any significant value on any of these? I'm a vintage lure collector how also hoards most anything to do with the outdoors. Any & all help appreciated. I cna probably return the favor if any of you have vintage fishing tackle questions....Thanks again! Stew
December 12th, 2012, 02:39 PM
i got a bow it says bear glass powered grizzly / bear archery grayling, michigan/ a couple pat #s/ canada 1953? was wondering if you could help me put a fair price on it.
September 21st, 2013, 10:58 PM
recurve 1.jpgrecurve.jpg [/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]1768425[/ATTACHATTACH=CONFIG]1768426[/ATTACH]recurve 4.jpg
This is a Bear Kodiak Special that I recently have purchased!! I am curious if anyone can help me figure out the age, and an aproximate value of the bow. Im new to this forum and appreciate any and all help and or advice. Thanks!!
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